While we were in Panama, Cody and I had a wonderful visit to the organic mango farm, Simply Natural. The mango tree is a tropical bearing fruit tree. Native to South East Asia, mangos are approximately 5000 years old. Surprisingly, the mango fruit is the second most consumed fruit in the world. The United States is the highest importer of mangos. There are over 400 varieties around the globe. The fruit ripens in 3 to 6 months and varies in size and color, from yellow, orange, red and green.
Simply Natural cultivates a unique organic mango called the "Lady Victoria" with pest resistance, higher sugar content and a greater percentage of fruit to seed ratio, deliciously sweet and more fruit. Yum. Unfortunately, we arrive at the end of the tropical dry season as trees are flowering from the stress of months without water. Over the next four months as the rains begin the fruits will ripen into a creamy succulent yellow peachy color.
End of Dry Season at the farm with rain clouds beginning to form and grids of newly planted saplings. The agriculture team is committed to permaculture, eco-friendly and sustainability practices. Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, not against nature by building rich soil, attracting beneficial insects and efficient use of water and fertilizers. The president, Alan Winstead is a fourth generation plantation manager and Panamanian. He speaks from his heart with passion and conviction about organic agriculture, soil and for the land where he and his family have lived for generations. Lucky for me he enjoys talking about plants and soil as much as I do.
Neem Tree break wall between each hectare for wind, fire and insect resistance
Each tree starts as graft onto a more hardy rootstock. Upon success the saplings are planted about 40 per hectare with neem trees surrounding. A hectare is about 2.2 acres. Harvest begins at year four and peak production starts around year 6 or 7 for as many as 60 to 80 years. Mango trees can live as long as 300 years and can produce for 150 years.
Most of the mangos will be harvested and exported to organic markets around the globe, but most likely the U.S. and Europe. If you are interested in investing in tropical agriculture visit www.simplynaturalinvestments.com. Everyone is pleasant, knowledgable and willing to answer any question. You can arrange a tour. The nursery for research and development is located in Penonomé, Coclé about 1.5 hours from the city and the farm in Los Olivos is about 1 hour more into beautiful countryside. After spending a day on an organic farm in Panama, it feels good to know their are amazing people everywhere supporting sustainable practices to better the earth for future generations. Thank you to all the remarkable people at Simply Natural Investments.
Look for the organic 'Lady Victoria' Mango at a Whole Foods near you.